Ethical drug dispensing:a case study of ethical drug dispensing in general hospital

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Ethical drug dispensing:a case study of ethical drug dispensing in general hospital

Abstract

Objectives

To identify both type and frequency of the challenges community pharmacists face when dispensing drugs from hospital discharge prescriptions, to describe the measures undertaken to resolve the issues at stake and to list their consequences.Design

We carried out an observational study in the community pharmacies of the French region of Alsace and asked the community pharmacy staff to review 537 hospital discharge prescriptions in 2013 using anonymous data collection forms.Setting and Participants

Nineteen community pharmacies.Main outcome measures

Number of patients informed about their medication (at hospital and/or community pharmacy), type and frequency of issues encountered during drug dispensing, type and frequency of measures undertaken to resolve the issues, type and frequency of the consequences regarding drug dispensing.Results

Community pharmacists faced 165 challenges from 145 hospital discharge prescriptions (i.e. 27.5% out of 528 analysed prescriptions), mostly correlated to the quality of the prescriptions (n = 100, 60.6%) or to logistical matters (n = 54, 32.7%). A mere 36.8% of the patients received information pertaining to their medication while being hospitalized. Of note, 40.5% of the prescriptions were delivered to pharmacies within 2 days following the patients’ discharge. In order to resolve the different issues preventing drugs from being dispensed (n = 33/145 prescriptions), pharmacists sought information, mainly from patients, colleagues and hospital prescribers. The pharmacists were able to dispense all the drugs prescribed in 138 out of 145 cases (95.2%).Conclusions

This study highlighted the challenges encountered by community pharmacists and their significant contribution to the continuity of care upon patients being discharged from hospitals.